Michelle Fairley Discusses that ‘Game of Thrones’ Spoiler Everyone Is Talking About

Popular opinion held that season 4 of Game of Thrones would end with the introduction of Lady Stoneheart. It did not. Now Michelle Fairley, who played Catelyn Stark on the show, is addressing the uproar over the ending of the season 4 finale, “The Children.” Warning: the rest of this article contains spoilers about upcoming storylines on Game of Thrones.

Lady Stoneheart is a popular character in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series. In the books, Catelyn Stark’s body is pulled from a river after her murder at the Red Wedding and she is reanimated, this time as Lady Stoneheart. Stoneheart is cold and hellbent on vengeance, tearing through the Seven Kingdoms in search of the people responsible for her murder. Fans of Game of Thrones who’ve read the books expected that the show’s fourth season to end with a shot of Lady Stoneheart, expecting her to play a major part in the show’s fifth season. However, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Fairley has seemingly confirmed the worst about Lady Stoneheart.

“Yeah, the character’s dead. She’s dead,” Fairley said. “I knew the arc, and that was it. They can’t stick to the books 100 percent. It’s impossible—they only have 10 hours per season. They have got to keep it dramatic and exciting, and extraneous stuff along the way gets lost in order to maintain the quality of brilliant show.”

This would strongly suggest that Lady Stoneheart will not make an appearance in Game of Thrones at all. However, her story does affect the fates of other characters in the series and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will need to find a way to work around the absence of Lady Stoneheart. There is, however, another scenario: that Lady Stoneheart will make an appearance on Game of Thrones, just through CGI.

In an interview with Vulture, Alex Graves, who has directed several episodes of the show, talked about the creative team’s discomfort with turning Fairley into a vengeful zombie who’s rendered nearly mute by her slit throat: “[W]hen you get into taking Michelle Fairley, one of the greatest actresses around, and making her a zombie who doesn’t speak and goes around killing people, what’s the best way to integrate that into the show?” It’s possible that there are plans to feature Lady Stoneheart, just visualized in a different way from the books. It would make sense, as it could be fairly graphic, even for Game of Thrones, to feature a character whose head is nearly hanging off.